Happening Today

Worcester firefighter funeral, DOT-MBTA meeting, and more

— Rep. Paul Brodeur, who was elected mayor of his hometown of Melrose earlier this month, resigns his House seat effective 10 a.m. Monday, an hour after a ceremonial swearing-in at Melrose City Hall, Melrose City Hall, 9 a.m.

— Massport and AAA officials host a media briefing to offer advice for Thanksgiving season travel, Terminal A, Departures Level, Logan International Airport, 10 a.m.

— A funeral mass for the late Lt. Jason Menard of the Worcester Fire Department, who died fighting a four-alarm fire Nov. 13, will be held today, with Gov. Charlie Baker, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Senate President Karen Spilka, House Speaker Robert DeLeo, and Auditor Suzanne Bump among officials planning to attend, St. John’s Catholic Church, 44 Temple St., Worcester, 11 a.m.

— Before a planned Joint Committee on Public Service hearing on pension related matters, peace advocates rally in support of legislation divesting state pension funds from companies selling weapons to Saudia Arabia as well as those who manufacture nuclear weapons, with the rally to be held on the State House steps, 9:30 a.m., and the hearing at the Gardner Auditorium, 11 a.m.

Department of Transportation Board and  the MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board hold a joint meeting, with an agenda calling for discussion of winter preparations, a human resources update, and other items, State Transportation Building, 10 Park Plaza, Boston, 12 p.m.

For more calendar listings, check out State House News Service’s Daily Advances (pay wall – free trial subscriptions available) and MassterList’s Beacon Hill Town Square below.

Today’s Stories

‘MBTA bigwig’s daytime drinking’

WCVB’s 5 Investigates has apparently caught on film, on numerous occasions (and we’re talking numerous), the head of the T’s labor relations team, Mark D’Angelo, drinking during work hours, downing beers and whisky, oftentimes at his “favored watering hole, The Point in Haymarket Square.” He resigned before WCVB even aired its report, the station reports.

At CommonWealth magazine, Timothy Lasker, president and business manager of OPEIU Local 453, is blasting the T’s hiring of D’Angelo and other managers as contract workers, instead of as full-time employees.


They have a deal: Negotiators to unveil compromise distracted driving bill today

From SHNS’s Chris Lisinski: “House and Senate negotiators announced Friday they reached an agreement to resolve distracted driving legislation that has been stalled for months, but they declined to share details of the compromise.” Shira Schoenberg at MassLive has more, including how the legislation will be unveiled today at the State House.

One group that will be paying very close attention to the bill’s details: The NAACP, as the Herald’s Sean Philip Cotter reports. Meanwhile, proponents of distracted-driving legislation were keeping up the pressure over the weekend, holding a rally outside the State House to press their case, reports the Herald’s Erin Tiernan.

SHNS (pay wall — free trial subscription available)

Here it comes: A statewide ban on plastic bags?

From Mike Deehan at WGBH: “Massachusetts could ban plastic shopping bags by 2021 under a new proposal Senate President Karen Spilka plans to bring to a vote Wednesday in the Senate. The upper chamber’s Ways and Means Committee will release a bill Monday morning that would ban single-use plastic shopping bags at store checkouts statewide and would preempt any plastic bag regulations already in place at the municipal level.”


Patrick’s ‘wildly ambitious mission’

Since declaring last week that he’s running for president, former Gov. Deval Patrick’s campaign hasn’t exactly soared in its early days, as he’s pressed on his planned use of a super PAC money (WBUR), faces scrutiny over his ex-brother-in-law’s criminal woes (Boston Globe) and gets greeted somewhat dismissively in California (Boston Globe).

Meanwhile, the NYT takes a look at the ‘wildly ambitious mission’ of both Patrick and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg as they attempt to draw centrist votes away from Joe Biden while simultaneously dinging progressive candidates Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. Of course, Pete Buttigieg is basically trying to do the same thing, as the Globe’s David Scharfenberg writes. And he’s doing it well, based on the latest CNN poll out of Iowa. He’s actually leading by 9 points?

And, of course, if Patrick ever wins the Dem nomination, he’d then have to defend his record as governor in a general election – and that means his tax record, as Forbes magazine reports.

Warren’s retreat on ‘Medicare for All’

And, yes, it’s a retreat when you abandon Plan A for Plan B, hoping it doesn’t draw as much fire and criticism. We refer, of course, to U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s Friday announcement that she won’t seek to pass her costly “Medicare for All” in her early years as president, opting instead for voluntary “Medicare for All,” i.e. the “public option,” as the Washington Post reports. The Washington Post’s Dan Balz thinks it’s actually a smart strategic move by Warren. 

The New York Times, meanwhile, takes a look at how Warren’s stand on health care has evolved over the years, becoming perhaps the defining issue of her campaign today, somewhat to her chagrin, it would appear.

Washington Post

The gift that keeps on giving: Whining billionaires

The Globe’s Jazmine Ulloa has an update on the gift that keeps on giving to Elizabeth Warren’s campaign: Pouting and whining billionaires who feel unloved and unappreciated. Warren may be gleefully fighting billionaires, but she isn’t giving up on big money donors, as Politico reports: “Inside Warren’s secret big-donor fan club.”

Meanwhile, the Globe’s Shirley Leung reports that many local business leaders are no fans of Warren – and many of them are already starting to drift towards backing Deval Patrick’s bid for president.

Springfield mayor’s press secretary arrested for vandalizing cars, damaging restaurant at casino

A PR nightmare caused by a PR director. Not good. From Jeanette DeForge at MassLive: “The communications director for Mayor Domenic J. Sarno is accused of damaging property in a restaurant in the MGM Springfield casino and vandalizing vehicles in the facility’s parking garage.” Just fyi: Responding troopers “observed her to be allegedly intoxicated.”

Matt Szafranski at Western Massachusetts Politics & Insight has more on the incident.


State admits it: Malden courthouse is a very sick building

The state is finally acknowledging that the closure of the 97-year-old Malden courthouse may indeed be tied to employees’ complaints of headaches, nausea, irritated eyes, and itching since the building recently underwent repairs. The Globe’s Brian MacQuarrie has the details on the “dust, chemicals, and other irritants” an environmental assessment recently identified in the building.

Boston Globe

Confirmed: BPD now the target of overtime investigation

One could sense something like this was coming (Herald last February). From the Globe’s Matt Rocheleau and Shelley Murphy: “A federal grand jury is investigating accusations of overtime fraud in the Boston Police Department, according to two sources familiar with the matter — an inquiry that comes on the heels of the sprawling State Police pay abuse scandal. The investigation is focused on three officers who worked in the department’s evidence unit, the sources said.” 

Boston Globe

Local police training: Inconsistent, inadequate and sometimes not at all

Speaking of police, this isn’t exactly reassuring. Shira Schoenberg at MassLive reports on a new report by state Auditor Suzanne Bump that finds annual local police training in Massachusetts is “done through a patchwork of institutions” and sometimes not at all in some towns.


Separated by only eight votes, city council race heads to recount

Finally, the votes are all in – and Julia Mejia ended up leading Alejandra St. Guillen by only eight votes in the race for the fourth at-large city council seat in Boston. Needless to say, St. Guillen has filed for a recount, as Sean Philip Cotter reports at the Herald .

Boston Herald

Close enough: Pittsfield and Salem ready for their own recounts

Speaking of recounts, they’re not done counting votes in other parts of the state. In Pittsfield, Melissa Mazzeo filed enough signatures to prompt a recount in the mayoral election, though most observers seem to think the 500-vote margin is enough to keep Mayor LInda Tyer in office, Amanda Drane reports at the Berkshire Eagle.

Meanwhile, with just a single vote separating two candidates for a seat on the Salem City Council, a recount is expected there as well, Dustin Luca reports in the Salem News.

Raise taxes? Here’s $160M just waiting to be collected

From the Herald’s Mary Markos: “More than $160 million in state revenue remains uncollected — unpaid by delinquent businesses — even as lawmakers eye new levies on ordinary citizens and an overhaul of the tax code. ‘Before they advocate for all new tax increases that would impact almost every person in the state, they should at the very least do a better job at collecting the taxes that are owed,’ Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance spokesman Paul Craney told the Herald.”

Boston Herald

Foreign students studiously avoiding some U.S. colleges

This is big economic news for Massachusetts if the trend continues much longer, i.e. the decline of foreign students coming to the U.S., particularly foreign students at smaller community colleges and two-year schools, such as Bunker Hill Community College and the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. The Globe’s Deirdre Fernandes has more on a trend that appears to be tied to anti-immigrant policies and sentiment in the U.S.

Non-disclosure: Private RMV auditor refuses to fork over documents

We paid for the audit. But we don’t get to read all its findings. From the Globe’s Matt Stout: “The auditing firm the Baker administration hired to investigate the Registry of Motor Vehicles is refusing to turn over records from dozens of interviews it conducted of current and former state employees, some of whom were directly involved in the failures exposed by a grisly New Hampshire crash that killed seven people.”

Non-disclosure, Part II: Salaries of UMass fundraising employees kept secret

There’s a non-transparency pattern forming here. Shira Schoenberg at MassLive reports that the UMass Amherst Foundation, the fundraising arm of the University of Massachusetts, won’t disclose who is paid what as part of their fundraising efforts for the system. We do know this: They’re collectively paid about $3 million.

It seems if you slap “private contractor” or “non-profit” status on someone or something, suddenly they assert they’re exempt from public scrutiny, even though their work involves, directly or indirectly, public services and funds.


Cut and dry: State forest advocates say they’re not done fighting

They speak for the stumps. Members of the Wendell State Forest Alliance held a memorial service for trees cut over the summer over their protests and say they’ll use the resulting stumps as part of a study aimed at proving the selective cutting was damaging to the forest ecology. Max Marcus at the Greenfield Recorder has the details.  Meanwhile, from Christian Wade at the Salem News: “National Grid’s push to clear-cut tree opposed.”

Greenfield Recorder

As goes Doyle’s, so goes Boston?

Once more for the people in the back. Joey Garrison at USA Today gives J.P. Doyle’s its Irish farewell for a national audience, complete with references to its role as a second city hall and lots of thoughts from locals who see its closing as a very bad sign indeed for the city as a whole. 

USA Today

A Conversation with Ash Carter

Ash Carter, former Secretary of Defense and director of Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, discusses his distinguished career and new book, Inside the Five-Sided Box: Lessons from a Lifetime of Leadership in the Pentagon with David Martin, national security correspondent for CBS News.

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Boston Speakers Series: Bob Woodward

A journalistic icon, Woodward is associate editor of The Washington Post. He, along with Carl Bernstein, uncovered the Watergate scandal detailed in their Pulitzer Prize-winning book, All the President’s Men. Woodward has written 19 bestselling books on American politics, most recently: Fear: Trump in the White House.

Lesley University

2019 New England State and Local Tax Forum

The New England State and Local Tax Forum is a one-day conference designed to provide an annual update on significant state and local tax developments from across the nation with a particular focus on New England.

New England State and Local Tax Forum

The Ninth Annual Massachusetts Investor Conference

The Ninth Annual Massachusetts Investor Conference: Featuring presentations on the state’s economy as well as panels pertinent to the MA credit and credits of statewide issuers.

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy Career Panel

Four alumnae of the GLPP with careers in the government, non-profit, and social service sectors will discuss their career paths and lessons learned along the way.

Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy

Boston Speakers Series: Bob Woodward

A journalistic icon, Woodward is associate editor of The Washington Post. He, along with Carl Bernstein, uncovered the Watergate scandal detailed in their Pulitzer Prize-winning book, All the President’s Men. Woodward has written 19 bestselling books on American politics, most recently: Fear: Trump in the White House.

Lesley University

What is a Safe Community? A Learning Panel

Come learn about the Network for Social Justice’s efforts to ensure all residents and visitors feel safe and protected.

Network for Social Justice

Today’s Headlines


Northeastern, dorm company proposed 975-bed dorm at Columbus Ave. and Melnea Cass Blvd. – Universal Hub

Mayor Walsh responds to Boston police overtime fraud investigation – Boston Globe


Bill to reinstate Seashore advisory panel heads to House floor – Cape Cod Times

State cannabis board could start move to Worcester by end of month – Telegram & Gazette

Sen. Ed Markey campaigns in Lowell, touts bridge funding – Lowell Sun


Louisiana delivers Trump a black eye – Politico

How FedEx cut its tax bill to $0 – New York Times

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